The Romantic Gang Leader


Independent of what happens on solid ground, the sun always rises in the Venezuelan film, “Cyrano Fernández.”

Director Alberto Arvelo eloquently blends romance and violence in a tale of two loves; one unrequited and translated through words of affection and the other obvious and violent portrayed by passionate scenes of chaos and sacrifice.

Cyrano Fernández is the self-made martyr of a “shantytown” hanging off the surface of the mountainous regions of Venezuela. Fernández, a Robin Hood-type character, is the leader of a self-righteous gang, the Tupamarus, whose purpose is to not to loot and destroy without cause, but to defend and protect the people in the community. Roxana, Fernández’ muse, falls in love with a friend’s nephew, Christian Santana, a murder suspect, who travels from the Bronx, New York to Venezuela to escape American authorities.

The town is composed of a series of pathways creating an intricate labyrinth allowing crime to prevail in the community. Fernández is dramatically portrayed by Edgar Ramirez, whose gruesome facial scars tell the story of his frustrated life in the Venezuelan ghetto, but it’s his solemn whimpers and random acts of kindness that give viewers a glimpse of an innocent child forced to make the choice of growing up or becoming another victim of the urban war.

by Irene Tostado

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